Old Testament Survey

Lesson 2 w/answersGenesis

This week we continue our survey of the Old Testament by beginning a study of Genesis. Last week in class we discussed the importance of having a solid chronology of events throughout the Old Testament. This will not only aid our understanding of what we are reading, but it will also help our deductive study as well. For example, this past week, once we learned the age of Isaac when his son was born, we could then deduce from that information how old Isaac was when he married – 20 years old (because we knew from knowledge of the Bible that he prayed for 40 years for a child from the day he was married).

I also discussed the importance of developing your own chronology and how it is more important to have a chronology that ties together in the correct order – vs. trying to memorize a bunch of specific dates. I say this because there are several sources you can reference regarding Biblical chronology and different sources will ultimately provide you with different dates for various events. For example, my Bible, plus several reference books that I own, can have dates that vary by as much as 214 years. You may discover references with even greater variances than that. Don’t get hung up about these differences; they are not that germane to the big picture.

However, to remain consistent as we jointly explore these Old Testament survey lessons, I will be using the chronology and dating provided me during my seminary days at Trinity Theological Seminary.

Bible

In our last lesson, we looked at the birth of Abram occurring in 2166, his departure from Ur occurring in 2091 (when he was 75), and Isaac’s birth occurring in 2066 (when Abram was 100 years old). Jacob, Isaac’s son, moves to Egypt in 1876 B.C., which begins the sojourn of the Jews in Egypt. Genesis 47: 8-9, tells us that Jacob was 130 yrs old at that time (i.e., 1876 B.C.). Based on this information, we can determine that Jacob was born in 2006 B.C., when Abraham was 160 years old.

We also talked about the period preceding Abram -- that period of time between Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Seth, Noah, and Nimrod and the Tower of Babel -- and the fact that there is no precise way to date those events. Many try using the genealogy in the book of Genesis; however, for numerous reasons that genealogy will not result in accurate dating. As was pointed out in class, the real purpose of the genealogies in the Bible is to show us the lineage of Christ our redeemer; and it does that very accurately. Beyond that, we will not depend on it to a great extent to determine exact dates, since we have other biblical references and tools like the Assyrian Eponym List.

Finally, as we began our survey we committed to refreshing our memory in learning the books of the Old Testament in order. As we saw last week if you have a solid chronology in your mind, the books of the Old Testament actually fall into place pretty easily. Typically, it is our lack of understanding of the order of events, and importance of events, that keep us from completely learning the books of the Bible in order. For example, do you know who wrote the Book of Lamentations, and why? If you did, you would understand why it is placed next to Jeremiah -- and why Jeremiah follows Isaiah in the Major Prophets section of the Old Testament.

So put on your chronology hat once again as we begin a quick overview of the book of Genesis. I am certain that you are going to learn a few things from our Genesis study this week that you may not have known before.

  1. What is the dramatic significance of Genesis 3:15 with respect to history?
    1. ANSWER: This is the beginning of the “Crimson Thread” of redemption. Through the patriarchs, the tribe of Judah, and finally concluding in Christ’s time – living on earth, dying on the cross, and now risen and reigning and coming again as the Messiah -- we see this crimson thread. We see Christ truly as the Alpha and the Omega.
  2. Briefly explain the theories on the creation of the world and man listed below:
    1. Evolution
      1. ANSWER: Long process of random chance.
    2. Theistic Evolution
      1. ANSWER: God created first cell then evolution did the rest.
    3. Day/Age Theory
      1. ANSWER: Says that 1 day equals a million years or more. In effect each day equaled the time required for whatever period of time needed to do that "day’s" work.
    4. Revelatory Day
      1. ANSWER: Each day refers to the day God revealed that amount of data to him and it took six days for this to be revealed.
    5. Gap Theory
      1. ANSWER: Creation was millions of years ago, Earth was then re-created after judgment. This theory attempts to account for science’s theory that the earth is millions of years old.
    6. Biblical Model
      1. ANSWER: Says the earth is approximately 10,000 years old and that today’s earth is the result of the flood causing the earth to shift off it’s axis, oceans then shifted causing the continents to appear, because prior to the flood the earth was perfect. The biblical model says that Genesis 1:1 was 8,000 B.C. and to the death of Joseph in Gen 50:26 was 1805 B.C.
  3. Using 1805 B.C. as the date of Joseph’s death, answer the following (see Acts 7:30-33, Deut 34:7, Exodus 2:1-3:2, Exodus 40:17):
    1. How old was Moses when led the people out of Egypt?
      1. ANSWER: 80 yrs old
    2. When was Moses born?
      1. ANSWER: 1526 B.C.
    3. In what year did the departure occur and in what year did it end?
      1. ANSWER: 1446 B.C and 1406 B.C.  Moses was 80 years old, and with the 40 years to lead the people through the wilderness, he was 120 years old when he died in 1406 B.C.  He was born in 1526 B.C., then 80 years later, in 1446 B.C., the Exodus began; and it ended in 1406 B.C. -- 400 years after the death of Joseph.
  4. Given that we know these dates we can also know the dates for many books in the Old Testament. Determine the dates for the events that occurred in the following books:
    1. The events in Joshua:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 1406 B.C. and 1385 B.C.
    2. The events in Judges:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 1385 B.C. and 1050 B.C.
    3. The events in 1 Samuel:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 1100 B.C. and 1010 B.C.
    4. The events in 2 Samuel:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 1010 B.C. and 970 B.C. (40 year period)
    5. The events in 1 Kings:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 970 B.C. and 853 B.C.
    6. The events in 2 Kings:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 853 B.C. and 586 B.C.
    7. The events in 1 and 2 Chronicles:
      1. ANSWER: A recap covering the years 585 B.C. and 539 B.C.
    8. The events in Ezra:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 539 B.C. and 457 B.C.
    9. The events in Nehemiah:
      1. ANSWER: Occurred between 445 B.C. and 444 B.C. (1 year)
    10. The events in Malachi:
      1. ANSWER: Were written down in 400 B.C. and ended the history of Judah.
  5. What were the names of Abram’s brothers? (Genesis 11:26)
    1. ANSWER: Nabor and Haran.
  6. What can we apply to our lives today from the prayers and faith of Isaac in Genesis 25:21-26?
    1. ANSWER: To be faithful and long suffering in our prayer life, and patient and waiting on God’s timing -- not our own. Also. to trust completely in His sovereign care of us, and to trust Him to supply all of our needs.
  7. Read Genesis 41:46, 45:6, 47:9, Chapters 29 and 30. From the information provided in these passages, plus the details behind the births of Jacob’s children, determine the following:
    1. The age of Jacob when he disguised himself and prevented Isaac from wrongfully giving the blessing to Esau:
      1. ANSWER: Jacob and Esau would have both been 77 years old when Jacob deceived Isaac, his father.
    2. The age of Jacob when he married Leah:
      1. ANSWER: Jacob would have been 84 years old when he married Leah.
    3. How old was Jacob when he moved to Egypt, and how old was his son Joseph at that time?
      1. ANSWER: Joseph was 17 years old when he was sold into slavery, and we know that Jacob would have been 91 years old when Joseph was born. We also know that he was 130 years old when he finally moved to Egypt, which would mean that Joseph at that time was 39 years old. (We can see in Genesis 41:46 that Joseph was 30 when he first came before Pharaoh. In Gen. 45:6, the time when Jacob came to Egypt is described as two years after the famine started -- with five years to go. This means that the seven years of good have already occurred as well as the two years of the famine, for a total of 9 years. Thus, Joseph is 39 years old when Jacob comes to see him. We also know from our previous study that Isaac was 60 years old when the twins were born -- which would have made him 180 years old when Jacob and Esau were 120 years old.
  8. Jacob was deeply in love with Rachel and worked fourteen years to have her as his wife. Who ended up being buried alongside Jacob when she also died? (see Genesis 49:31)
    1. ANSWER: Leah.
  9. Describe the personalities of Esau, Jacob and Laban; and identify which one goes on to become the father of the Edomites.
    1. ANSWER: Esau was a hunter and a "man’s man", who was more interested in himself than anything else. Jacob was intelligent and tied to his mother’s apron strings, even at 77 years old. He was subtle, crafty and a deceiver who eventually met his match in Laban. Laban was a mixture of Esau and Jacob. A strong man who also thought a great deal of himself and attempted to use the deception of Jacob for his own gain. In all three personalities, we see people who were trying to totally depend on their own skills to fulfill their own desires. In the end, Jacob repents and returns to the Lord; whereas his brother Esau never does and goes on to become the father of the Edomites.
  10. Summarize the experiences of Joseph in Egypt.
    1. ANSWER: Sold into slavery at the age of 17, he keeps his faith in God and goes on to become the second highest ruler in all the land -- second only to the Pharaoh. He is used of God to bless the land and to provide for both the land of Egypt and his family (who come to Egypt seeking help during the time of the famine). Enduring times of uncertainty when he was sold as a slave, then imprisoned for being falsely accused by Pharaoh’s wife, and used by God to interpret dreams and act as administrator to the Pharaoh; Joseph learned to depend totally on God and to always glorify Him in all that he did. He lived to be 110 when he died in Egypt.

Continuing our survey look at the Old Testament will fill us with a real sense of God’s purpose. As we build our chronology and our understanding of the people and events in the Old Testament, we can’t help but also see that it all fits perfectly together. Nothing God ever does is by accident -- it all has a specific purpose, even if that purpose isn’t known to us and stretches over hundreds or thousands of years. Ultimately, it accomplishes God’s will.

How exciting it is to be studying God’s only and Holy Word and seeing all that God reveals to us through it!

Thanks for studying with us, and have a great week everyone.

In Christ,

Wes

[2008]

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